Mark 13:1-13 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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The Gospel Must First be Preached to All Nations
Comments for Study 25

Mark 13:1-13
Memory Verse: 10


Passion Week Events

* Jesus had just finish teaching in the temple, thus ending his public ministry. A time line is as follows.
    Friday -Jesus arrives in the Jerusalem area. (John 11:54-12:1)
    Saturday (Sabbath) -a day of rest; no event recorded except Luke 21:37-38.
    Sunday -Jesus' triumphal entry. (Matt. 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19)
    Monday -Jesus curses the fig tree (Matt. 21:18-19; Mark 11:12-14). Jesus clears out the Temple. (Matt 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-18)
    Tuesday -Jesus' authority questioned. (Matt. 21:23-27; Mark 11:27-33; Luke 20:18) Jesus teaches in the temple. (Matt. 21:28-22:46; Mark 12:1-44; Luke 20:9-21:4) Jesus wept over Jerusalem's leader's unbelief and rejecting him as their King. (Matthew 23:1-39) Jesus anointed at Bethany. (Matt. 26:6-13; Mark 13:3-9; John 12:2-11)
    Wednesday -another day of rest; no event recorded except Luke 21:37-38. The Jews plot to kill Jesus. (Matt. 26:14-16; Mark 14:10-11; Luke 22:3-6)
    Thursday (Hebrew month Abib the 13th day) -the Passover meal begins at twilight (see below note) when Jesus and the disciples celebrate the Last Supper. (Matt. 26:17-29; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-20; John 13:1-18) Jesus comforts the disciples (John 14:1-16:33) Jesus prays at Gethsemane. (Matt. 26:26-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:40-46)
    Friday (Hebrew month Abib, 14 day) -According Hebrew time Jesus is arrest and tried from night to daylight. (Matt. 26:47-27:26; Mark 14:43-15:15; Luke 22:47-23:25; John 18:2-19:16) Jesus' crucifixion at 3:00pm, and death before sunset which is the end of the Hebrew day and Passover. (Matt. 27:27-56; Mark 15:16-41; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:17-30) Jesus is buried at sunset. (Matt. 27:57-66; mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:31-42)
    Saturday (Sabbath Abib 15, Seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread begins) Jesus' body is in the tomb. He appears in Sheol and accompanies the saints previously dead to heaven.
    Sunday (Abib 16; day of First Fruits Sheaf Wave) Jesus' morning resurrection and appearing to the women. (Mark 16:9-11; John 20:11-18) Then he appeared to the two on the road. (Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:13-35) Then to the ten apostles (no Thomas or Judas) in the evening. (Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25)
    Saturday (Sabbath) -Jesus appears to Thomas and the rest of the apostles. (John 20:26-31)
    A week later -Jesus talks and eats with some disciples by the Sea of Galilee. (John 21:1-25)
    Forty days since his resurrection -Jesus ascends to his Father from the Mount of Olives. (Matt. 28:15-20; Mark 18:19-20; Luke 24:44-53; Acts 1:1-11)

* Note: The Passover is linked to the 14th days of the month not the day of the week. Passover starting on Thursday at twilight is a very rare event; unusually it starts on a different day of the week. (Hebrew days start at sunset/twilight and go thru the night till the next day's sunset.) Falling on a Thursday that year made it possible for Jesus to fulfill the meaning behind the feasts associated with the Passover. His crucified was on Friday (still Passover), the Sabbath (Saturday) rest was the Feast of Unleavened Bread (always on the first Sabbath after Passover), and Sunday was the third day since his death, the day of the First Fruit Sheaf Wave, and the day that Jesus rose from the dead. All three feasts were thus fulfilled by Jesus.

I. What Great Buildings (1-4)

>1. What happened in verse 1?

* Mark 13:1 "As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!"

* "As he was leaving the temple" -Jesus had been teaching in the temple. Mark does not record what Jesus had just said. Matthew and Luke do. They recorded that Jesus pronounced "woes" (a mornful prophesied judgement) on Jerusalem and the religious leaders who rejected him (Matt. 23, Luke 20:45-47, 11:38-51, 13:34-35)

* While in the temple the Pharisees, Sadducees, teachers of the law and the leaders of Israel tried to trap Jesus. Jesus pronounces "woes" (a mournful prophesied judgement) over Jerusalem and the religious leaders who rejected him. (Also in Luke 20:45-47, 11:38-51, 13:34-35)

* "one of the disciples said to him" -All of them were thinking this, but one spoke up as a spokesman.

* Jesus' teaching in this chapter is about the end of this age. This teaching is mainly for Christians, true believer's in Jesus, especially those who will come to believe him during the tribulation period. Jesus' prophecy was also important to the first believers. At that time a Jewish revolt in 66 A.D. was crushed by Vespasian and then his son Titus finished the defeat in 70 A.D. Jerusalem, the Temple, and most Judea towns and strongholds were destroyed and many were killed.

>What was so impressive about the temple?

* "Look Teacher! What massive stones!" -The disciple pointed this out because he and the others had a hard time accepting what Jesus said about the destruction of the temple. He was saying, "Look at these stones, will they really be toppled down? Their so big. Take a look at how big they are. Who can tear down such large stones?"

* Herod the Great came to power in 37 B.C. and determined that he would please his Jewish subjects and show off his style of kingship to the Romans by making the Jerusalem Temple bigger and better than it had ever been. His most notable contribution was the magnificent stonework of the Temple platform which was greatly enlarged. The descriptions in Josephus and the Mishnah have been fleshed out by recent archaeological discoveries. (source: Holman Bible Dictionary.)

* A description is in Ezra 6:1-6, and Ezekiel chapters 40 to 42.

* One stone was thirty-seven feet long.

* Herod's rebuild took fourty-six years. (John 2:20)

* The temple meant so much to the Jewish people. Since they were not allowed to govern their people (Herod was not a Jew) the temple became the symbol of their nation and religion. The disciples still hung onto the belief that Jesus would soon become the king of Israel. With the temple gone that could not happen. Therefore, their hopes were shaken by Jesus' predictions.

>What did Jesus predict?

* Mark 13:2 "Do you see all these great buildings?" replied Jesus. "Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."

* The disciples must have been devastated and shocked.

>What was he trying to teach his disciples?

* To not look at earthy glory and symbols of power, wealth, and glory.

* Jesus was concerned about the spiritual condition of people, not buildings.

* What is my hope in? What do I value? What do I look forward to? What is my center of focus? How do I see the world around me? These are all important questions to ask and answer. The correct answer will lead to comfort when the things of this world fail, falter, disappoint, and fade away.

* In times of trouble, tribulation, hardships, and disaster I need to have a spiritual godly focus and insight.

>2. What happened in verses 3 and 4?

* Mark 13:3-4 "As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, "Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?"

* "the Mount of Olives opposite the temple" -A short walk east of the temple. A valley is between the two called the Kidron Valley. The Mount of Olives is a little over two miles long and has peaks that are higher than the temple area.

* "Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately" -Mark is the only author that tells us who approached him to ask these questions. Perhaps they asked him privately because they did not want to alarm others. Their questions shows that they believed Jesus' prophecy about the temple.

* "Tell us" -they had confidence to ask him as we should have confidence in our prayers.

* "when will these things happen?" -The destruction of the temple

* "And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?" -How will they know that it is about to happen.

* Matthew includes a third question, "When will this happen?" (Matt. 24:3) meaning the destruction of the temple and the end of the age (world as it is now).

* Jesus' answers are called the Olivet Discourse because he was in the Mount of Olives.

>Why were they so alarmed?

* The temple was the center of the Jewish world. With it gone so would Israel cease to be a nation.

* Jesus' prediction would mean that there must be either a terrible war or natural disaster (i.e. earthquake).

* Most Jews had two understanding of the future; 1) Israel would be a nation with a Jewish king, the Messiah, and 2) the world would someday end. The Dead Sea Scrolls show these beliefs clearly.

* Jesus' words would have been a major blow to their moral and hopes.

* Animal sacrifices are no longer needed because Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins.

* The temple was to be a meeting place between God and his people. Now since the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts our bodies are his temple. (1 Cor. 3:16-17, 6:19-20; Eph. 2:21-22)

* Everything in the world will fall apart or will be destroyed eventually. We should not put hope in things in this world.

* God is everywhere, the temple was only meant as a place for God's people to come to him in prayer and with sacrifices.

* John 4:21-24 "Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth."

II. Watch Out (5-6)

>How did Jesus reply in verses 5 and 6?

* Mark 13:5-6 "Jesus said to them: "Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and will deceive many.

* "Jesus said to them" -Jesus answered their questions, but not right away. Instead he gave them warnings first.

* "Many will come in my name" -Many people calling themselves Christians will not be true believers in Jesus. They might even believe it themselves. However, they will not be.

* "claiming, 'I am he,' and will deceive many" -not just a few will be deceived. False Jesus' and Messiahs have come in the hundreds even in the last century.

* Jesus is warning them about spiritual destruction.

* False messiahs give false hope and false dreams and false ways of life. They are selfish and often force themselves on people.

>Why do you think he warned them about false messiahs?

* False messiahs destroy. False messiahs waste time and energy.

* False messiahs can have false achievements and miracles that deceive. (1 John 2:18-27)

* "deceive" -trick, fool, and look real and genuine, but are not.

* False messiahs can be very convincing. How can we know if they are not a true savior and lord? The Holy Spirit will teach us as we study the Bible.

>What are the false messiahs of our times?

* Types of governments and social leaders.

* Types of religions; Islam, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, eastern philosophy, Buddha, Hinduism, spirit worship, devil worship, ancestor worship, etc.

* Science and technology.

* Medical and Medication.

* Humanism and human endeavours.

* Weapons and military power.

* Material and wealth.

* Any hope for the salvation and the improvement of people other than God and his One and only Son, Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew).

II. Signs of the End of the Age (7-13)

Olivet Discourse Chart

>4. What characterizes the sings of the end of the age? (7-8)

* Mark 13:7-8 "When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains."

* "When you hear" -Might not be involved in.

* "wars and rumors of wars" -Fighting between people groups and nations has been increasing. World War I was called "The war to end all wars" because it was the worst war yet, so much so that the leaders of the world said they would form a world government to stop such wars. So far their efforts have not subsided wars.

* "do not be alarmed" -fearful

* "earthquakes and famines" -Also increasing in quantity and strength.

>Why do such signs produce fear?

* They induce death, hardship, pain, disease, and suffering.

* Security and safety are lost or threatened.

* Faith, hope and happiness are lost or threatened of loss.

* Reason and sense go away.

>How does this fear deceive people?

* When these things happen people turn to something and anything for hope.

* It appears that there is no control and reason.

* It seems wrong and senseless.

* It seems that God does not exist and/or care.

* It seems that we, others, or anything cannot do anything to save and help us.

>What did Jesus think about these terrible signs? (7b)

* "Such things must happen, but the end is still to come."

* "must happen" -as a result of man's sin.

* Expect them to happen. They will happen. Don't be surprised. God is not surprised. God still cares for his people. He has a reason for them.

* "the end is still to come" -this world with all its wars, earthquakes, famines, hurricanes, violence, evil, floods, etc. will end. There is a better future. It is called the Millennium, the thousand year reign of Jesus. Beyond that in eternity in paradise.

>What did he mean by "birth pains"? (8c)

* A earth will come from this one.

* "beginning of birth pains" -not middle or end. The disasters before the soon to happen seven year great tribulation period is just the beginning.

* When the child is born the new mother's joy surpasses the short time of pain.

* When these things happen we can be reminded that a joyous and great future await us.

* Bith pains come at the right time. They begin gradually. Rather quickly they increase in intensity and strength and then very quickly they end.

>5. What did Jesus tell his disciples to expect? (9)

* Mark 13:9 "You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.

* "You must be on your guard" -Jesus and the apostles warn us many times to be on our guard in this age. Jesus did not plant false hope for a comfortable life for this disciples.

* "You will be handed over" -Perhaps by people we trust, even friends and family members.

* "to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues" -both religious and secular, some even appearing to be righteous, kind, generous and knowledgeable.

* "on account of me" -We should not take it personally, even when the attacks are personal.

* "as witnesses to them" -God has a reason why we are brought these things happen to us. Daniel and his friends, Joseph, and the prophets were mistreated for a reason. God wants to use us for good to others. We need to have faith that he is working through the hard times were are experiencing.

>How could they be his witness in such threatening circumstances? (11)

* Mark 13:11 "Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit."

* "do not worry beforehand about what to say" -This is talking about a spur of the moment unplanned events. It is not talking about giving messages and planned events and meetings.

* "whatever is given you at the time" -as we stand before them

* "Holy Spirit" -during the last supper Jesus said all his disciples will receive the Holy Spirit. The apostles' writing confirm that all those hope put their hope, faith, and love in Jesus receive the Holy Spirit.

* Don't worry, expect it.

* Jesus promise eternity and a great reward.

>6. What did Jesus tell them to expect in verses 12 and 13?

* Mark 13:12-13 "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."

* "Brother will betray brother to death" -Although at times a non-sibling betrayed a believing sibling, as we approach the end of this age it will happen more and more often.

* "Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death" -the rebellious nature of the adolescent and young adults have increased greatly all over the world. Just recently we have heard war cries from political and religious leaders all over the world for the youth to rise up. Such youthful antics lead to the rise of Stalin and Hitler.

>Why do people hate his disciples?

* "all men will hate you because of me" -The only exclusion for the hate would be fellow true believers in Jesus. Everyone else hates Jesus' people guaranteed. The reason for the hate is because they hate Jesus and anything associated with him. They can not attack him so they attack his people.

* Their are many sub-reasons for the hate, but the main reason is because they hate Jesus first and foremost.

>What promise did he give them when even their closest human relations are betrayed and they are utterly alone? (13)

* Mark 13:13 "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."

* "stands firm" -does not waver in unbelief. Does not disown Jesus. Does not start believing and confessing someone or something else.

* "to the end" -it will go on till either our physical body dies or Jesus comes to take us away (the rapture).

* "will be saved" -from judgement

>7. In this troubled world, what does God want his people to do as first priority? (10)

* Mark 13:10 "And the gospel must first be preached to all nations."

* "gospel" -Greek for good news.

* "must first" -before the events that Jesus just talked about happen.

>What does this mean to us?

* "preach" -Jesus gave his commission to the church, the congregation who believes in Jesus as the only Savior, Lord, and future king of the world. It is at the end of the gospel and the beginning of acts.

* "to all nations" -no exclusions.

* Jesus will not come before preaching the gospel of the kingdom is finished. The church has been waiting for Lord Jesus to come. So what is he saying here? Jesus often preached about the kingdom of God. Its true that when the apostles all had died the gospel went very far beyond Judea and into all the continents except North and South America. The gospel has since spread to every nation, every kingdom, every people group. There are perhaps only a few people that have not heard the good news. And there are some places that the gospel had been preached, but the voice of believers have disappeared or been quieted. Yet, during the seven years tribulation 144,000(12,000 from each of the twelve tribes) will preach the kingdom to every nation.

* Paul claimed, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have keep the faith." (1 Tim. 4:7)

* 1 Corinthians 10:32-33 speaks of our mission to the Jew, the Gentile, and the church, "Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks (Gentiles) or the church of God-- even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved."

* Spreading the gospel is a personal life mission given to us by Jesus.

* Always believe in Jesus and proclaim him everywhere in spite of what happens and what people say and think.

* Our testimony about Jesus is an ongoing life event.

* Spreading the gospel is a personal life mission given to us by Jesus.